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Students reenact deadly DUI crash

Published On: Apr 24 2014 09:15:49 PM CDT
CHICO, Calif. -

An emotional message delivered from two devastated families who lost love ones to drunk and distracted driving spoke to students at Chico High School.

The families of Kristina Chesterman and Janee Nickerson both shared their heartbreak.

Chesterman was a Chico State student killed by an alleged drunk driver. Nickerson was attending Butte College and was killed by a driver police say had a suspended license.

Police and firefighters responded to a mock DUI crash on the campus of Chico High as if it were the real thing. Some students played the part of victims. Others observed the efforts to rescue those involved.

This was all part of the Every 15 Minutes campaign. Their mission is to tell students that every 15 minutes; someone is killed in an alcohol-related crash.

Students saw a drunk driver performing a field sobriety test. Some victims were taken in an ambulance. One was zipped into a body bag and loaded into a hearse.

“You really don't think that much of it until something like this happens and it puts into perspective,” said Chico State senior, Maddi Teague.

On Thursday, there was a follow up presentation. David and Sandra Chesterman spoke to the students about their daughter Kristina.

“I think they related to her because she was so close in age to them,” said David Chesterman. “It wasn't that long ago she was in high school back in Livermore. They were very moved by the story and that it's reality.”

“It makes you think if it were to happen to you or your family. It just made it that more real,” Teague said.

Students heard from one of their own teachers, John Nickerson about the death of his daughter Janee.

“Having their friends go through something like that made a real impact,” said Nickerson.

The CHP said since January of this year until March there have been 22 DUI crashes in the Chico area. Four of those were fatal and 66 people have been arrested for DUI.